RC Talks Dutch Hip Hop, Amsterdam & Tracksuits With Gee From Patta
This week we caught up with one of the Patta crew, Guillaume Schmidt or ‘Gee’ for short.
Gee set up Patta with his business partner Edson in 2004 both with a mutual passion for streetwear and sneakers. In its 13 years of business its fair to say the Patta brand is now a global contender on the scene, with a recent flagship store opening in London in 2016 and collaborations with the likes of Carhartt WIP, Patta are at the top of their game.
With both of you being apart of the Amsterdam Hip-Hop scene how did you guys originally meet and what really drove you to go into business together?
We met in the record shop called Fat Beats. I was a loyal customer and Ed was working there. Later I worked there as well. Ed stayed there as one of the managers and I started working for Sony Music. I stopped at Sony after 2 years …we both wanted to do something for ourselves, with sneakers being a big part of the culture and us already having connects from our travels made the whole thing click.
Obviously Patta draws a lot of inspiration from the Dutch urban & Hip Hop music scene, how has this scene changed in the 13 years you guys have been going?
It has grown from a subculture to mainstream audience. The guys that are successful now can actually make a living of it. Before this was only possible for a chosen few. It’s great to see that the game has evolved and that Hip Hop is doing great.
There is certain look on the streets of Amsterdam with tracksuits, Nike Air Max 95’s and the likes of Supreme, Patta & The North Face. If you had to describe the whole Amsterdam image vibe what would it be?
Lots of sneakers, a lot of street culture is linked to sports. In Holland football is big therefore comes a lot of the tracksuit influence. Nowadays it’s mixed a lot with the brands mentioned although that is for a specific groups. Others stick with brands that are hot or have been hot, Lacoste, Stone Island, Nike tracksuits and adidas Originals more club orientated.
Amsterdam has clearly changed a lot over recent years now being one of the most sought after destinations in Europe, how has this helped the Patta brand to develop and move further into Europe.
With more people coming to Amsterdam we can obviously reach more people and spread our “gospel”. We just do what we do and with sticking to our guns we kind of grew into a position that we became a destination. That’s a blessing and once again if we don’t get the support we have been having from our customers we wouldn’t be able to grow the way we are doing now. We are very grateful for that.
“We are constantly working on new projects but we try not to repeat ourselves.”
Lets talk collaborations. Your recent Carhartt WIP collaboration was awesome. How did the whole thing come around and what were your final thoughts on it?
It was the second collaboration we did with Carhartt. Basically this came to fruition to relationship we have with some of the people working there. Where the first collaboration was more of an ode to the Carhartt standards …the second was a little more based on Patta style items but we just made it with a Carhartt lens on. It worked out pretty well.
Can we expect anything similar to come from Patta for 2017?
We are constantly working on new projects but we try not to repeat ourselves. That being said over the years we tried to create our own DNA that will always be in it whatever we do.
What areas and places in particular in the ‘Dam’ do you like to head to and chill when you are out and about in the city?
There’s loads, Amsterdam Parks are good (Vondelpark usually too busy but definitely try any others). I like the public library a lot , there is a good view there too. De School is good for clubbing, De Duivel is about as authentic a bar you can find …need I go on?
What kind of local Dutch hip hop acts are you into at the moment and can you give us any recommendations?
I love Yung Nnelgs new album, SMIB collective has a lot of talent in there, from the new school :Sevn Alias and Kevin, Mula B, Idaly and Bokoesam. The guys that have been around Duvel, Kempi, Hef, Nosa…
Obviously running a store and building it up to be a global contender and brand like Patta isn’t plain sailing. What have been the hardest things to overcome in your 13 years in business?
Getting the financial structure right and running. For now the main focus is Amsterdam and London. We definitely want to expand but we are taking our time to make sure it’s right . We are first going to test the grounds with some pop-up stores where possible.
Patta Amsterdam Store pictures by Vicky Grout
You can check out all the latest Patta drops, news releases and collaborations at patta.nl.